Police posit that a neo-Nazi cell uncovered last weekend in Petah Tikva is not the last anti-Semitic gang in the area. “There’s a high likelihood that we’ll hear of a number of other points of neo-Nazi action,” sources told Ynet.
Police commissioner Dudi Cohen said Monday that there are dozens of similar cells through Israel. “There are a number of latent local cells waiting to ‘come out of the closet’,” police sources elaborated later that day.
Police feel that the gang from Petah Tikva, currently in custody, must be dealt with using extreme measures, adding they “hope that the way we will deal with such issues will deter other cells.” The gang of teenagers will be indicted in a Tel Aviv district court on Tuesday morning.
But the sources conceded that the widespread notoriety afforded to the local neo-Nazi gang may encourage like-minded groups in Israel to behave similarly.
Indeed, only a few days after the incident in central Israel, another anti-Semitic incident occurred in the south: Monday, Christian crosses and the words “Hitler is the messiah, long live Jesus” were spray-painted on the walls of the Pahad Yitzhak synagogue in Eilat.
The police sources emphasized that the job of combating a general trend of pro-Nazi behavior and the promotion of anti-Semitic rhetoric does not belong to their forces alone: “Many groups, including the Justice Ministry, legislative branch, Social Affairs Ministry and Education Ministry must take part in the efforts.”
Following the incident in Petah Tikva, the Education Ministry decided to spend the next week hosting talks and activities to address the issue in schools across the country.
Among the activities, schools will screen the movie ‘The Wave’, based on the true story of an American high school teacher who conducted a social experiment among his students to demonstrate the ease with which individuals can be swept into a cycle of fascism and intolerance.